Tuesday, July 22, 2003, Chandigarh, India


C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Mixed response to ex-servicemen health scheme
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
While the Ex-servicemen Contributory Health Scheme (ECHS), launched by Army Headquarters recently, has received a mixed response, the scheme is expected to take several years to stabilise on account of the massive infrastructure that needs to be put into place.

The major sore point among ex-servicemen are the high rates of subscription, though the scheme is also being welcomed in some quarters on grounds that the armed forces were the only Central Government organisation which did not have a dedicated health care scheme for its pensioners.

The feeling among officers of the Army Medical Corps (AMC) as well as representatives of various ex-servicemen associations is that it could take well up to five or six years for the scheme to cover a reasonable portion of the ex-servicemen populace.

“While implementing the scheme in major cities would not pose a problem, it would be difficult to do so in remote places or in states or areas where the Army has little presence,” an Army doctor said.

According to Army sources, information about the scheme is still to permeate in rural areas, where the vast majority of ex-servicemen reside. “It appears that many people have still not been intimated about the scheme,” an officer remarked.

The rates of subscription of the scheme are stated to be “rather high”. A person drawing a basic pension up to Rs 1,500 has to pay Rs 1,800, while a person drawing a basic pension of Rs 7,500 has to shell out Rs 18,000. Pensioners drawing Rs 1501— 3,000 have to pay Rs 4,800, those drawing Rs 3,001—5,000 have to pay Rs 8,400 and those drawing Rs 5,001 to 7,500 have to pay Rs 12,000.

The amount can be paid in three annual installments. According to ex-servicemen, this is unlike any other government organisations, where deductions from salaries are made over a period of time and one does not feel the pinch.

The requirement of a dedicated scheme to provide medical care for ex-servicemen was felt as they are not entitled to treatment at military hospitals. “Ex-servicemen do not have a right to treatment at military hospitals. They are entertained only if capacity to accommodate them is available,” an AMC officer remarked. “Further, military hospitals and clinics are oriented to deal with battle casualties and all of them may not have the facilities and expertise to deal with old age problems,” he added.

According to ex-servicemen, another factor concerning the issue is that unless a person is covered by the Army Group Insurance no provision exists for reimbursement of medical expenses if an ex-servicemen is referred to a civilian hospital for treatment.



Sec 33 a victim of admn’s apathy
Tribune Reporters

Chandigarh, July 21
A plethora of problems dog Sector 33, considered to be a posh locality of City Beautiful. Residents of Sector 33 are unhappy with the callous attitude of the Chandigarh Administration as well as the Municipal Corporation, which they feel have ignored the development and upkeep of the sector.

Kshitij Sharma, a resident of the sector, says: “How can we play when there is more than two-foot-tall congress grass in playgrounds?”

Shefali, another school going resident, said: “On the one hand the UT Administrator, Justice O.P. Verma, had asked his subordinates to bridge the north-south divide by focussing on sectors 40 to 59, on the other hand sectors 30 to 39, which are considered posh and enjoy maximum premium as far as property rates are concerned, have now become victims of the indifferent attitude of the administration.”

A visit to the A and B area of the sector reveals poor cleanliness and development, but the worst hit is the C and D area. The area near Government Model Senior Secondary School, Sector 33, and mini market in 33-C is dotted with dirt and wild bushes. Foul smell, absence of proper street lighting and pavement are a common sight in the area. Interestingly, this area is close to the famous Terraced Garden.

Mr K.L. Verma, secretary of a block in the C area, said they had been trying to develop and clean the area by employing their own manpower. Another resident Vivek, a marketing executive, said during the past one month they had faced low voltage accompanied by interruption in power supply, especially after 10 pm.

He said on contacting electricity authorities they were told that people had installed air-conditioners and the power being consumed was more than what was approved. He says: “Why don’t electricity officials themselves conduct raids on people flouting the norms?”

Iqbal Singh, another resident, said there was an urgent need to manage the flow of traffic on Saturdays, when “apni mandi” was held. He said the city traffic police could resort to one-way traffic since thousands of people visited the “mandi” and hundreds of vehicles were left on the roadside.

Jagdish Chander, a local resident, was of the view that bus service to the sector was very poor. He said for going towards Panchkula, railway station, Mansa Devi or Mani Majra, residents had to go to the bus stand, which was time consuming. He wanted a direct bus service from Sector 43 to Panchkula via Sector 33.

Rakesh, a resident, felt that the sector lacked a big market. He said though a space had been allocated for showrooms and booths, due to absence of proper metalled road very few shops had come up.

Subash Chawla, Mayor, Municipal Corporation, said after finishing with the work on recarpetting of roads in Sector 35 and Sector 34, work on roads in Sector 33 would get under way. On the growth of congress grass, he said the MC was aware of the problem and staff was on the job to remove the grass. Gian Chand Gupta, BJP councillor of the area, could not be contacted as he was not in the city.



Medical students in tight spot
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
Students appearing for counselling of seats in medical colleges of Punjab and Karnataka are in tight spot following a clash of dates and are hopeful that the Punjab Government will come to their rescue.

While a counselling session for medical seats in private and government colleges is scheduled for July 27, that of colleges in Karnataka will be held on July 28. Students claim a lot is at stake and by no means can they reach Karnataka on July 28 for counselling.

“The only option before us is to miss out on counselling in either of the states. This has put us at a great disadvantage. We will send a representation to Baba Farid University at Faridkot to postpone the counselling session to accommodate us,” a student said.

The students claim that not only will the counselling for seats in Punjab, on July 27, put them at a disadvantage but the students won’t be able to appear for the entrance examination of VM Medical College, New Delhi. The exam for this college is to be conducted on July 27 by the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).



2-yr-old with suspected cholera

Chandigarh, July 21
Even as the cholera patient admitted to the PGI continues to be critical, two-year-old girl Kehkanshan, was admitted to the Pediatrics Department of the institute with cholera-like symptoms.

According to sources, the critical patient, Dharam Vir of Kiratpur village, near Pinjore, was admitted to the institute on July 17. Doctors treating Dharam Vir said the patient had developed complications, including renal failure and respiratory paralysis. OC



Rich haul by Arjun Pratap
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, July 21
Arjun Pratap Atma Ram, a student of the BCom-II of SD College, Sector 32, triumphed in the air rifle event when he won a rich haul of medals in the Chandigarh State Shooting Championship, which concluded last evening at the Sector 25 shooting range. Arjun shot 283/300 in the .22 prone senior and junior events to set a new meet record. He surpassed the previous record of 277/300 held by D.S. Chandel. He also shot 484/600 in. 22 three position event to bag a gold medal, while 573/600 in the air rifle event to secure a gold medal in the junior section and a silver medal in the senior section. Arjun also bagged gold medals in the team events in air rifle and. 22 prone.

Arjun, who devotes more than five hours daily to rifle shooting, had earlier also won a bronze medal in the All India Shooting Meet at Asansol. At present Arjun is placed fourth in the national ranking in the .22 prone. junior section, while 10th in the air rifle event. Arjun has set his aim to don national colours in the coming months.

Uttaranchal XI excel

Uttaranchal XI got the better of Eagle XI by seven wickets, thanks to a fine knock of 60 runs by Ravi Kumar, in the League-cum-knockout Cricket Tournament organised by the Punjab Secretariat Cricket Club at the ITI, Sector 28 grounds.

Brief scores: Eagle XI:115 runs for eight (Dharamveer 43, Ravi 14, S. Massey 3 for 20, Girish Bhanot 2 for 13). Uttaranchal XI: 117 runs for three (Ravi Kumar 60, Rajiv Dutta 27) Gallant Cricket club: 96 runs for nine in 16 overs (Vishal Gupta 23, Naresh 25; Puri 3 for 23, Radhey 2 for 21, Shera 2 for 16). Swami XI: 94 runs for six in 16 overs (Rinky33, Radhey 13, Deepak Lohtiya 3 for 10, Vishal Gupta 2 for seven).

Chandigarh Youth XI:147 runs all out (Harit Sharma 32, Rohin Rana 28, Sapan 28; Sanjay Malik 3 for 17). Victorious XI: 131 runs for nine (Mohammad Ali 26, Bhim Yadav 25; Sameer 3 for 14, Amandeep 2 for 21).



Ban on rallies in certain sectors
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
The District Magistrate, Mr Arun Kumar, extended the ban on certain activities north of Madhya Marg Sectors 1 to 12 and Sector 25, 26. Under the order the District Magistrate has banned the holding of processions, dharnas, raising of slogans, carrying of lathis and also assembly of five or more persons north of the Madhya Marg.

The order, however, shall not apply in case of police or para military or military personnel or any other government servant on official duty. The order will not affect customary and ritualistic processions in connection with weddings and funerals. The order shall not apply to processions and meetings for which prior permission had been obtained.



MC committee meeting put off
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, July 21
The Water Supply and Sewerage Disposal Committee of the Municipal Corporation today could not hold its meeting, with five of its seven members, barring chairman Pardeep Chhabra, failing to turn up. The meeting scheduled to take up 14 important agenda items on water augmentation, road gullies and laying of new storm water lines had to be postponed. The next date of the meeting has not yet been decided.

Apart from Mr Chhabra, the only other member who came for the meeting was Mr Vijay Rana.

Brig Sant Singh (retd), vice-chairman of the committee, K.S. Raju, Deputy Mayor Geeta Chaudhary, Pushpa Sharma and former Senior Deputy Mayor Surinder Singh could not make it to the meeting. Mr Vijay Rana said it was surprising that his colleagues in the committee could not turn up for the meeting, which had to take up important agenda items. He said issues of storm water lines and road gullies were important especially when the rainy season was on.


Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
123 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |